June 16, 2014
For our last full day in Sri Lanka, we had hoped to rent some bicycles and explore the area that way. While that didn’t work out – nobody seemed to offer rental bikes – we ended up going for a backup plan that worked out even better: renting a scooter.
While at times our driving was not the most professional – parking and starting up in particular weren’t exactly smooth, especially with a scooter that stalled as soon as it stopped moving – over ten days of observing first hand the experts in action made us naturals on the road in no time.
We started off by going to town to get a haircut (200 rupees / $1.75), breakfast (for the third time at the City Hotel, our favorite place), and gas. Following that, we headed to through the old Dutch fort to check out the famous temple at the end. Though not much to see itself, the views from the peninsula where the temple was located were nice, and the inside of the fort itself was a quite interesting contrast to the rest of the city, similar to the Canal Zone in Panama City. All in all, it’s well worth checking out.
Leaving the fort, we took a quick refreshing dip at our favorite beach, Trinco Beach, and then headed up to Nilaveli Beach, which is about 10km further up the road beyond Uppuveli. While the beach was nice enough, we were glad we decided not to spend a night there, as it was even more isolated than Uppuveli. It was also frustrating to not be able to buy a cold beer and drink it on the beach at any of the three hotels we asked.
With a lack of beer forcing our stay in Nilaveli to be cut short, we made our way back to Uppuveli. Along the way we went on a coconut water drinking binge, stopping at every place we saw along the way to take advantage of our last chances to have this delicious, refreshing, and cheap (67 cent for two glasses) drink before returning to Canada. At one of the places we stopped, a particularly loquacious fellow connoisseur of the drink managed to bombard us with his life story, introduce us to his whole family via wallet pics, and share his views on religion and life, all in the time it took us to drink a glass.
Back at Uppuveli after triumphantly returning the scooter accident free and in the same shape we received it, Kim got herself a $20 ninety minute massage while I enjoyed beer and a book on the beach. We then headed out for a forgettable dinner at Trinco Village Restaurant in the city, killed some time by getting a sundae at City Hotel (once again), then eventually boarded our overnight bus to Colombo, in which we both passed out before the bus even got going.
- As long as you have the confidence to take part in Sri Lankan style driving, renting a scooter in Trinco is a must do. Not only does it allow you to get way more done with your day than you would otherwise, it is also cheaper than the alternative of tuk-tuking around.
- If you don’t manage to get a first class ticket on the overnight train back to Colombo, the overnight bus is a worthy plan B. It may not be quite as comfortable but it is much faster (5hr45min vs. 10hrs) and cheaper.